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Must you buy subs in pairs? How do I get the most out of my tops by adding a sub?


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Using 2 RCF 312 A tops for DJ gigs using some very nice gear to cover up to 300 people at an outdoor gig.

 

I was wondering how to position a single sub to limit sound dissipation. But I also wondered if you are supposed to buy subwoofers in pairs because I've seen how they have pole mounts for your loudspeaker tops. But would that kind of setup be best in an outdoor gig vs firing a single sub into a wall or something?

 

I am aiming towards a single RCF 705-AS and would love to get 2 of these but its costly enough for me getting just one. I may go with a 18" sub although I want to stay with RCF. But, then there is the 905 AS and maybe that would be better for outdoor performances? I don't know. I'd like to increase headroom if possible and/or have enough power to get the job done for 250-300 at an outdoor gig.

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No problem using just one better than none at all,but you really need two to keep up with the tops you have. As for positioning it depends as usuall on the room or space you are covering with sound. against a wall can be ok just experiment and dont spread your tops to wide apart.

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The 705-AS is what I use and is an "OK" sub considering it's footprint. If you want better performance though, consider the JBL PRX616S-XLF. They can be had for around $1100 and are louder and go lower. It's also a bigger sub than the RCF, but weighs in the same.

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For 300 people? outdoors? DJ gig?

 

Frankly, I'd think someone would have to be pretty optimistic, to think that a single, or even a pair of the subs mentioned, would do well at this type of gig. "Getting by" is one thing, and "doing well" is quite another.

 

What type of gig is it exactly? What genre of music? How is the crowd spread out? Are you primarily focusing on the area directly in front of the stage, or are you trying to cover everyone, even if they're spread out over a large area? Are you on a stage? Are there any walls behind or beside you?

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Yes, go and add a single sub. It will give you a lot more low frequency energy than you have now. Most types of music have low frequency content. Place the sub near a hard relective surface, like a wall. Have the sub centered between the tops. Get the tops up off the ground, up to about head height. If the (active) sub has a high-pass output, use that to feed the tops.

 

Whether it will be "adequate" is a different question. But it will sound better than what you are using now. Mark C.

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For 300 people? outdoors? DJ gig?


Frankly, I'd think someone would have to be pretty optimistic, to think that a single, or even a pair of the subs mentioned, would do well at this type of gig. "Getting by" is one thing, and "doing well" is quite another.


What type of gig is it exactly? What genre of music? How is the crowd spread out? Are you primarily focusing on the area directly in front of the stage, or are you trying to cover everyone, even if they're spread out over a large area? Are you on a stage? Are there any walls behind or beside you?

 

 

Bobby - interesting that you say that. Most people I've checked with on this say to get the 'job done right' you need two good 15" subs. The event is a bi weekly one that happens every other Thursday night. It is attended by a small town population and Yosemite park service employees. (many younger seasonal and term employees). They usually have a band or a DJ come and play music at each of these events. I setup last year at one event but it was late in the season so it did not have a big turn-out.

 

This year I am scheduled for peak season dates and - it was loud with the just RCF 312-A's but I could not manipulate well with the sound without loosing too much bass. I think that was because the amount of bass that the RCF's put out alone was diminished too easily when making effect/filter adjustments. I am standing in front of a brick building in front of the booth outside on a patio. I was thinking of having the sub shoot into the brick wall behind me about 1-2 feet away to see if that works. Last year my XLR' cables were only 12 feet long. I am going to buy 25' cables this year and get them about 4' further apart than last year. I don't think that is too wide still however. I am level with the crowd directly in front of me.

 

The general idea was to grab up one 705 AS and then another one later if I needed it. If this would not be sufficient for 250-300 people then would it be for 150 in your opinion? I was even thinking of getting another pair of 310A's instead but that might just defeat the purpose of a sub I guess.

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Yes, go and add a single sub. It will give you a lot more low frequency energy than you have now. Most types of music have low frequency content. Place the sub near a hard relective surface, like a wall. Have the sub centered between the tops. Get the tops up off the ground, up to about head height. If the (active) sub has a high-pass output, use that to feed the tops.


Whether it will be "adequate" is a different question. But it will sound better than what you are using now. Mark C.

 

 

I believe that is one reason I was interested in the 705 AS - because it has the High Pass filter (and its the same brand).

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Bobby - interesting that you say that. Most people I've checked with on this say to get the 'job done right' you need two good 15" subs. The event is a bi weekly one that happens every other Thursday night. It is attended by a small town population and Yosemite park service employees. (many younger seasonal and term employees). They usually have a band or a DJ come and play music at each of these events. I setup last year at one event but it was late in the season so it did not have a big turn-out.


This year I am scheduled for peak season dates and - it was loud with the just RCF 312-A's but I could not manipulate well with the sound without loosing too much bass. I think that was because the amount of bass that the RCF's put out alone was diminished too easily when making effect/filter adjustments. I am standing in front of a brick building in front of the booth outside on a patio. I was thinking of having the sub shoot into the brick wall behind me about 1-2 feet away to see if that works. Last year my XLR' cables were only 12 feet long. I am going to buy 25' cables this year and get them about 4' further apart than last year. I don't think that is too wide still however. I am level with the crowd directly in front of me.


The general idea was to grab up one 705 AS and then another one later if I needed it. If this would not be sufficient for 250-300 people then would it be for 150 in your opinion? I was even thinking of getting another pair of 310A's instead but that might just defeat the purpose of a sub I guess.

 

 

Compact subs might do ok indoors, depending on the genre, and with a crowd half that size, but outdoors, they'll run out of gas quickly. They'll "help", by allowing you to hi-pass the mains, and letting the subs do the grunt-work. You'll definitely get more out of your tops this way (which are already marginal for a job this size).

 

If this is a non-paying crowd, and your goal is simply to provide ambient music, rather than being the main focus of their attention, then a larger-than-compact pair of subs (RCF 902a's?) should help a lot, but don't think you'll "thrill or excite" the audience, in the same way as you would with a pair of larger high-output subs.

 

Music is VERY dynamic. If punch and dynamics-impact is of importance to you, then I'd consider a larger system entirely, for this sort of gig. Frankly, if it were my gig, I'd want to show up with at least, a good pair of 15" mains (or four, depending on how the crowd is dispersed), and a pair of Yorkville LS801p's. That would be the difference between "getting by", and thrilling/exciting the audience with dynamics. (Just my opinion)

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For the type of music you identified you are playing, I really think that a second sub would provide a much greater improvement than adding a pair of 310a tops. A pair of tops will be about $800 - close to the price of another sub. Low frequency (bass) sounds require more power to produce than higher frequency sounds. It is not uncommon to see two subs per top speaker. (It depends on the subs and tops, of course, and the type of music being played.)

 

FWIW, I don't understand your concept of turning the sub around and "firing into the wall." What do you think that will do to improve the sound? Have you looked at the polar patterns on the RCF spec sheet? Mark C.

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For the type of music you identified you are playing, I really think that a second sub would provide a much greater improvement than adding a pair of 310a tops. A pair of tops will be about $800 - close to the price of another sub. Low frequency (bass) sounds require more power to produce than higher frequency sounds. It is not uncommon to see two subs per top speaker. (It depends on the subs and tops, of course, and the type of music being played.)


FWIW, I don't understand your concept of turning the sub around and "firing into the wall." What do you think that will do to improve the sound? Have you looked at the polar patterns on the RCF spec sheet? Mark C.

 

 

What I think it would do is ad a bit of reflective bass sound. I read that the 720P's from Yorkville are great and have considered getting a pair of those but liked the better sound quality from the RCF-705 AS. Thus possibly considering 2 of either.

 

I want a formidable force but it doesn't have to be super wow holy {censored} that guys loud. Or maybe I do? I can't decide. What was missing at the first gig I think is that not everyone was in the coverage area. So this year I am going to make some changes to the dance area. It is basically a bunch of people eating and drinking at tables and next to all of that is a open area. There is also an actual stage in a grassy area (that bands usually setup at) it is not fully enclosed, it is a platform with a frame. Didn't see any point setting up on the stage because of the open area behind it. I was trying to use the building for reflective sound.

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Yes, go and add a single sub. It will give you a lot more low frequency energy than you have now. Most types of music have low frequency content. Place the sub near a hard relective surface, like a wall. Have the sub centered between the tops. Get the tops up off the ground, up to about head height. If the (active) sub has a high-pass output, use that to feed the tops.


Whether it will be "adequate" is a different question. But it will sound better than what you are using now. Mark C.

 

 

By firing the sub at the wall, the idea would be to get some additional reflective bass to the dance area. I don't think that this is impossible to accomplish in doing this. Yeah - its a sloppy idea but it came about with just using one sub if could be adequate. Although it looks like to get the job done I'll need two. And where to place them - I am open to suggestions. No I haven't looked at the spec sheet. I wouldn't know off hand how to understand it in reference to what I am trying to accomplish.

 

http://www.rcf.it/professional-speaker-systems/sub-series/sub-705-as

Spec Sheet

http://www.rcf.it/c/document_library/get_file?p_l_id=2587560&folderId=4259617&name=DLFE-10703.pdf

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Compact subs might do ok indoors, depending on the genre, and with a crowd half that size, but outdoors, they'll run out of gas quickly. They'll "help", by allowing you to hi-pass the mains, and letting the subs do the grunt-work. You'll definitely get more out of your tops this way (which are already marginal for a job this size).


If this is a non-paying crowd, and your goal is simply to provide ambient music, rather than being the main focus of their attention, then a larger-than-compact pair of subs (RCF 902a's?) should help a lot, but don't think you'll "thrill or excite" the audience, in the same way as you would with a pair of larger high-output subs.


Music is VERY dynamic. If punch and dynamics-impact is of importance to you, then I'd consider a larger system entirely, for this sort of gig. Frankly, if it were my gig, I'd want to show up with at least, a good pair of 15" mains (or four, depending on how the crowd is dispersed), and a pair of Yorkville LS801p's. That would be the difference between "getting by", and thrilling/exciting the audience with dynamics. (Just my opinion)

 

 

The crowd donates money to the event and the DJ gets a portion of it. Yes this is mainly for fun although I may be able to get some gigs at some local hotel venues. The only issue I have is the outdoor factor. I prefer being outdoors although limiting sound dissipation seems to be the challenge.

 

So what is a 'compact sub' is that the 705-AS? I recently looked at the 905. That one is about 1500. Wondered if one of those would be sufficient. But if two 705-AS subs would do the job I think I'd entertain that.

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The nearly perfect omnidirectional output of the sub means that it probably doesn't make any difference which way it is facing. You can always try for yourself to see if it makes any significant difference in that particular location.

 

You can center cluster the subs, or split them L/R. It will (probably) change the places in the listening area where the bass is more pronounced. The RCF subs have a "phase" (polarity) button on them that you can experiment with if you are only using one sub or clustering the pair. Sometimes the acoustics of the space and speaker position make it better when you invert the polarity. If you can't hear a difference, don't worry about it. If in a new setup, your subs sound a lot weaker than you are used to hearing, that is a good indication to try inverting the polarity. Mark C.

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Again, the JBL is a better option. Lower and louder for around the same cash. Also MUCH easier to have serviced if needed. Trust me on that, I own an all RCF rig and have needed service on my 522A's 3 times, two of which were handled extremely poorly. The JBL has a crossover in it as well and I've tested it at a store with my RCF tops. They are better. Night and day? no, but if I didn't have the RCF subs already I'd own the JBL's in a heartbeat.

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FWIW I DJ in an outdoor venue several times a month for young adults, and couldn't get away with anything less than either 4 18s or two 21s. There is another DJ who comes in with just one Yorkville TX9 and does OK, so it is possible to cover the place (usually around 250 in attendance) with a very good double 18 sub. But it barely gets the job done.

 

Bottom line - if you're DJing for millenials you're not going to get them moving with a single 15" sub. There's just no way even indoors. That's a sub for wedding or anniversary DJs.

 

If you're short on money scour your local Craigslists for used Yorkville LS8*/ TX or JBL SRX subs. Here's something relatively close to you:

 

http://fresno.craigslist.org/msg/2896943263.html

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